Whether they’re known as “guarantee” games or “body bag” games or, to Big Ten fans, “MACrifices”, fans know nonconference games in which a small school comes in for a paycheck and a beating by one word: boring. Scan the blogosphere every fall for an array of rants about ridiculous nonconference scheduling that no one on earth has ever disagreed with.
The laws of free-market economics don’t care, though, and thus have doomed fans of every program to regular games in which the opponent has little or no chance. Longtime holdout Michigan decided if it was going to play a I-AA team, it was going to be a really good I-AA team. Everyone knows how that worked out. But instead of going back to a I-A-only policy, Michigan just downgraded the level of opposition.